DeAndre Yedlin is one of the United States Men's National Team's most recognizable faces, with more caps (62) to his name than all but three players (Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and Brad Guzan).
The Newcastle United right back also is African American, and he revealed in a Twitter thread Tuesday that his 74-year-old grandfather texted him "a couple days" after George Floyd's death in police custody in Minneapolis to say he was happy his grandson was in England, not the United States, during this time.
Yedlin understood why, tweeting that each "American needs to ask themselves if there is 'liberty and justice for all,' and if their answer is yes, then they are part of the problem."
A couple days after George Floyd’s death, my grandfather texted me and told me he’s glad that I am not living in the U.S. right now because he would fear for my life as a young black man. As days have passed, this text from my grandfather has not been able to leave my mind.— DeAndre Yedlin (@yedlinny) June 2, 2020
He was born in 1946, lived through the civil rights movement, lived through some terribly racist times in U.S. history, and now 70 years later he STILL fears for the life of his black grandchild, in the country he and his grandchild were born in,— DeAndre Yedlin (@yedlinny) June 2, 2020
in the country his grandchild represents when he plays for the United States, in the country his grandchild represents when he’s playing in England. I remember being in elementary school, and having to recite the Pledge of Allegiance which ends— DeAndre Yedlin (@yedlinny) June 2, 2020
“.. with liberty and justice for all.” Every American needs to ask themselves, is there “liberty and justice for all” and if their answer is yes, then they are part of the problem. In no way are we asking black lives to matter more than white lives,— DeAndre Yedlin (@yedlinny) June 2, 2020
all we’re asking is we are seen as equal, as more than 3/5 of a man, as humans. My heart goes out in solidarity to George Floyd, his family, and all of the countless number of victims that have had their lives taken at the hands of meaningless police brutality.— DeAndre Yedlin (@yedlinny) June 2, 2020
Yedlin shared his thoughts hours after Newcastle's Twitter account posted a picture of the club's players kneeling in a circle before Tuesday's training session with the hashtag #UnitedAsOne. Liverpool and Chelsea also tweeted pictures of their players kneeling Monday and Tuesday, respectively, along with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
Before training at Cobham this morning, the Chelsea players and coaching staff formed the letter H, for humans, and knelt in a show of support for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. pic.twitter.com/yI6kAywa93— Chelsea FC (at 🏡) (@ChelseaFC) June 2, 2020
Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, died last Monday in Minneapolis police custody after a white officer -- who has since been fired, arrested and now faces charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter -- pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for over eight minutes. Floyd died two months after the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor -- a 26-year-old African American woman -- by police in Louisville and three months after the killing of Ahmaud Arbery -- a 25-year-old African American man -- by two white men, and nationwide protests of systemic racism and police brutality have sprung up over the last week.
Some demonstrations have turned destructive, with violent police response alongside looting and rioting. Numerous cities and municipalities across the country have started to institute curfews.
The outrage isn't limited to the United States, with protests occurring in London, Berlin and Paris, among other cities around the world. In the Bundesliga, which is the only major European league that has resumed amid the coronavirus pandemic, a handful of young stars honored Floyd and the ongoing protests last weekend.
Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie, a 22-year-old African American man, wore an armband bearing the message "Justice for George." Borussia Dortmund wunderkinds Jadon Sancho and Achraf Hakimi -- 20 and 21, respectively -- both lifted their kits to reveal shirts saying "Justice for George Floyd" after scoring goals. Twenty-two-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach striker Marcus Thurman took a knee after scoring.
Weston McKennie with a "Justice for George" armband pic.twitter.com/qAXlAXJHF1— Tim Murphy (@timothypmurphy) May 30, 2020
Achraf Hakimi and Jadon Sancho both revealed 'Justice For George Floyd' shirts in Dortmund's 6-1 win over Paderborn. pic.twitter.com/k9vx4etswj— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 31, 2020
Powerful moment here at Borussia-Park as Marcus Thuram takes the knee after scoring.@borussia_en are now two nil up just before the break.— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS_EN) May 31, 2020
Watch live now on HD11 📺#beINBundesliga #BMGFCU pic.twitter.com/PZQ4pBs2GP
The laws of the game prohibit “any political, religious or personal slogans, statements or images," but the English Football Association said Tuesday players would be able to follow in McKennie, Sancho, Hakimi and Thurman's footsteps without fearing punishment. German soccer authorities have said they're investigating whether McKennie should face sanctions for wearing the armband.